Wilfred: The Complete First Season DVD Review: Thank You, Australian Television

Out of all the television producing and filmmaking countries in the world, there are perhaps two that Americans love to borrow (or perhaps, steal) from more than any other. One is that magical, mystical country of France — a land not only of baguettes and tiny clove cigarettes, but which has absolutely nothing to do with this piece whatsoever. The other is the Land of Oz itself: Australia — which has quite a lot to do with this review, since Wilfred is an American remake of an Aussie television comedy of the same name that initially aired in Oz back in 2007.

Now, normally, whenever America steals from another country, they usually take the general idea and toss everything out of the window. In the case of Wilfred, they actually brought over one of the original show’s creators and stars to help.Hence, the many FX viewers who were as-yet unaccustomed to the humor of Australian comedian Jason Gann (who looks way too much like Ryan Reynolds for my taste), who reprises his role from the 2007 series as Wilfred — a seven-year-old dog whom everyone else sees as just a dog, but who is seen as an upright man in a dog suit by the show’s other star, Elijah Wood.

Here, Wood plays Ryan, a neurotic ex-lawyer who tries to off himself in the pilot episode, but who soon forms a bond with Gann’s bizarre anthropomorphic creature (who belongs to Ryan’s new neighbor, played by Fiona Gubelmann) — a being who smokes pot, drinks beer, steals, and swears a great deal more than your average canine. In fact, despite all those character flaws (though they might be considered attributes to some people), Wilfred manages to become Ryan’s mentor — teaching him a number of valuable life lessons such as being a man and standing up for one’s self.

Alas, no matter how many morals you throw in, there’s no denying that the humor of Wilfred is very adult in nature. Well, kind of. It’s adult, sure, but — as you have no doubt figured out — it is anything but mature. As such, I really couldn’t decide to love it or loathe it. I found it funny at times, and insulting at others. After several episodes, I found myself cringing whenever Gann cracked one of his dry jokes or Wood started being an irrational pain in the ass. Even after finishing Wilfred: The Complete First Season, I am still undecided as to whether or not I like this series or not.

Fox Home Entertainment brings us all thirteen episodes of this offbeat FX comedy in a two-disc set with several fleeting special features, including a handful of deleted scenes and a couple of promo pieces.

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Luigi Bastardo

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